n a 25-year career at Business Week, Don Dunn spent more than a decade as writer/editor of that magazine’s “Personal Business” department, giving readers advice on investments, collectibles, health, travel, education and countless other topics. A graduate of the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri, he moved from his native St. Louis to New York City, where his interest in Broadway led to publication of his first book, The Making of ‘No, No, Nanette.’ When it was condensed in New York Magazine, it created a minor sensation as readers learned about the tawdry goings-on behind the scenes of the hit musical starring the legendary Ruby Keeler and directed by Busby Berkeley. The book was chosen as a Book-of-the-Month Alternate selection and was issued in paperback by Dell Publishing.
As a “ghost writer” of books for such individuals as TV comedian/musician Steve Allen and a former mayor of Jersey City, N. J., Dunn’s interests in writing are diverse, and he often moves quickly from one subject to another. But the dramatic story of Charles Ponzi – and the thousands of people he defrauded – gripped his mind over a period of years while he researched the events of a half-century earlier, even managing to locate the former Mrs. Ponzi and obtain an interview with her. His findings led to the publication of Ponzi, the Boston Swindler by McGraw-Hill Inc. (A foreword in the new Broadway Books edition of his work, Ponzi, the Incredible True Story of the King of Financial Cons, details Dunn’s efforts to convince Mrs. Ponzi to agree to be portrayed in a feature film about the 1920s affair.)
As a specialist with extensive knowledge of the man and his crime, Dunn has testified as an “expert witness” in a Nassau County trial of a “modern Ponzi” (the defendant was convicted and sentenced to prison). He has also appeared on television and radio and/or provided source material for programs and articles on Ponzi for everything from the National Enquirer to American Heritage magazine and The History Channel. His book is currently under option to be made into a motion picture – an occurrence that has taken place a half-dozen times since its original publication. (Peter Falk was once slated to portray Ponzi himself.) Film representation is by Joel Gotler at Intellectual Property Group .
A resident of Accord, New York, Donald Dunn lives with his spouse, Kerstin Trone, and a dog named Bernie in a forest-enclosed home. He is currently working on a dramatic version of an actual 1920s confrontation between Arthur Conan Doyle (the creator of Sherlock Holmes) and magician Harry Houdini.